All of our patients are important to us and we use our Pet of the Month to highlight one of their stories, especially if it is particularly inspiring or we believe it can bring awareness to a condition or illness. This month’s Pet of the Month fills both of those criteria and it hits very close to home. It is our pleasure to introduce you to Harley, May’s Pet of the Month. She is an immediate member of the City Pets family, but we think you’ll agree she’s earned this honor all on her own.
She was adopted from the Humane Society by Bill and his wife, Lindsay, in December of 2016. She arrived on the “Love Train” and when Bill visited her on his lunch break, he knew she would be coming home with them by the end of the week. Lindsay met her two days later, just hours after her spay and it was confirmed she had found a new home. She’s been a handful from day one when she could literally fit in your hand. Bill and Lindsay were convinced they would one day have to bring her in for a foreign body surgery because she has gone hamper diving more than once.
She’s full of personality and energy. On a walk during a hot August day in 2017, she pulled and pulled during the walk while Bill and Lindsay tried desperately to keep her from exerting herself too much. Eventually they decided to cut the walk short and headed home. With her long tongue hanging out, making her look like a crazy person, she made it to the neighbors’ lawn and she decided it was far enough. She “collapsed” and refused to finish the walk. Lindsay had to scoop her up and carry her home. Luckily, she is very amenable to being carried.
We say “luckily” because Harley ruptured a disc in her back at the end of March. At first, they weren’t sure what had happened or why she had woken up crying and in great pain. (When a disc ruptures, it is usually precipitated by a clear incident or traumatic event.) They took her to City Pets right away and she was examined, radiographs were taken (which showed no clear orthopedic changes), and given anti-inflammatory medication. It wasn’t until the next morning Bill noticed she hadn’t moved all day and was sitting in her urine. They took her back to City Pets and Dr. Weinrick tested her back legs for a neurological response. When she confirmed she wasn’t using her back legs, she called Dogwood Veterinary Neurology Center and they told her to send Harley right away.
After an exam and MRI, it was confirmed Harley had ruptured a disc and would need surgery. There was still only a 50% chance she would regain feeling and the ability to walk. All Lindsay and Bill could do now was wait for a sign her back would heal. They were told it could take up to two weeks. About 6 days before her recheck exam, she started to regain feeling in her feet. Harley also started physical therapy with Dr. McRae the same week and her improvement began to progress exponentially. Based on her progress, she was given an 80% chance of a full recovery at her Dogwood recheck appointment. Bill and Lindsay report she has continued to make great progress and continues to blow past milestone after milestone. She has even taken a few steps on her own, though they may be better categorized as falling forward gracefully. Thanks to Dr. Weinrick’s quick referral, the surgical team at Dogwood, and Dr. McRae’s physical therapy regiment Harley is making great “strides” toward recovery.